Initial Entry: mike.whybark.com is one year old, as of yesterday.
For me personally, highlights of the year have included The Death of Mr. Red Ears, The Wreck of the Shenandoah (as well as the rest of Blimp Week), the story of my sister’s passing, and a carefully written, accurate account of a nightmare.
I’m also pleased to have consistently presented original material that stems from actual journalistic activity, specifically the interviews with Man in Space creator David Sander and noted author Michael Moorcock.
I do have at least one more interview to present here, but as I’m attempting to balance the demands of writing for publication with those of blogging, mum’s the word for now.
Over the past year, my writing practice has matured in ways that I think would have been difficult for me to conceptualize as a younger person. For example, I can give reliable time-based estimates for the labor involved to develop a piece to a given word count (depending on the background materials for the piece). I hope that I’ve mastered some of the basic technical aspects of writing for publication.
I believe that the aspect of my writing that still needs the most technical attention is consistency of tense and staying in the active voice. It’s something I can edit into a piece, but getting it right the first time is a better way to go. Saves paper. Much of what I write is essentially just direct recording of my stream of consciousness, and in my head, tenses are fluid.
Regarding the active voice, (make that “Grasping the active voice,”) it’s probably just something I’ll always have to watch (“fight with”). My inner voice is contemplative and analytical, and when musing, the personal pronoun is rarely employed.
I’ve also learned that my long held belief that I cannot write fiction or develop plots or imagine characters is simply wrong. What I have learned is that I have to fool myself into accessing that aspect of my creativity, and it really frustrates me.
There’s a connection between this phenomenon and my native avoidance of the active voice: my fondest desires, and most rehearsed inner fantasies, from earliest childhood, involve the disappearance of not the self, but my self.
Those of you who know me personally will find this hard to believe, as you’d be hard pressed to ever meet another grandstanding blowhard who can outdo me in the monopolize-your-attention department.
Interestingly, the erosion of identity is precisely what good character visualization and development truly requires, so perhaps, if I can find a way to link the two in my mind, the lifelong block will dissolve.
Anyway, thanks for reading. I am not planning any big changes here, although I have been constantly worrying the bone above. I rather expect that I’ll be experimenting with solutions to it here.